Worship for Conference Sunday

Conference Sunday, May 28th, 2017
( a suggested worship service for congregations to use)
Theme: Think on these things
Philippians 4: 8-9

Theme: Our theme at Conference is “Think on these things” which is Paul’s call to thought and action. President Don Stiles states “ I think this is a critical text in changing times”.

Opening Prayer (based on Philippians 4:8-9)
One: Rejoice the Lord is near.
All: And the peace of God, above all things will guard and defend me forever.
One: But that is only part of the formula. We are asked to ponder these things.
All: Whatever is true, gentle, pure, fair and whatever is deserving.
One: Think on these things,
All: And then I will put into practice whatever I have learned.
One: Peace be with you
All: And also with you.
(Prayer written by Rev. Jean Wilson, retired)

Response:
Rejoice in the Lord always:  again I say, Rejoice!
Rejoice in the Lord always:  again I say, Rejoice!
Rejoice, rejoice, and again I say, Rejoice!
Rejoice, rejoice, and again I say, Rejoice!
A time for the child in all of usA time for the child in all of us
Let’s build something! OK, I brought the pieces with me in this bag. I thought it would be fun to make a new cross for our Sunday School room. Wait – what’s this string doing in here? Oh man, it’s wrapped around everything! I’m going to have to untangle this from everything before we can go on, wait a second. . . OK, now let’s just get rid of this string (toss it behind you or somewhere away from you), there, now we can build! This is the base that it will stand on, and this piece goes into the base like this. Then there is a hole in the upright and this cross piece, and I just need a little wood rod to go through it . . . it’s here somewhere . . . hmmm . . . I don’t see it. I really wanted to show you how the cross looks, but I don’t have anything to hold it together. Wait! I could tie it together! Where did that piece of string go? There! Almost right. I sure am glad we had that string, even if I thought it was annoying at first.

Or use Lego to build a cross, but forget the base. Talk about the scripture: a call to thought and action – it all needs a firm foundation, or something to hold it together.

Hymn: VU646 – We are marching in the light of God
Readings:
Philippians 4: 1-9
Psalm 19 – VU Page 740
Hymn: VU267 – Like a mighty river flowing
Message: “Think on these things”
– provided by Rev. Don Stiles, Conference President

Tithes and Offering

Prayer of Dedication: God, our provider, in Christ you give us a spring of pure water that overflows to eternal life. Your love and hope fill our hearts, so we want to worship you in spirit and truth. Open our eyes to see the places in this neighborhood where our church’s ministries could reach new people. Direct our gifts and offerings for your purposes, so that our community will become like a field ripe for harvest. We ask this through Christ our risen Lord. Amen.
Prayers for the People of the World
Holy Friend, health of the sick, comfort of the sad, rebuke of the oppressor,
judge of the greedy, hope of the repentant, friend of the downtrodden;
in prayer we lift up to you this world with its outrageous injustices
yet also its outpouring of human kindness from ordinary people.

Loving God, let your blessing be upon those

who serve their neighbours without thought of reward,
who forgive their enemies seventy times seven,
who care for broken strangers as if they were dearest friends,
who weep with the bereaved as if they were sisters,
who heal the diseased not counting the risk to themselves

Let your blessing encourage those

who work for peace when the only result seems to be more violence,
who preach and live the Gospel in the face of persecution,
who feed the hungry although their efforts get misinterpreted,
who stand up for the downtrodden in spite of public scorn,
and who maintain the church when those around belittle it.

Holy Friend,

please reach out your hand over each of us gathered here now,
that our faith may be enlarged and fortified,
our vision enlightened and extended,
and our compassion refreshed and widened.

(Prayer written by Rev. Bruce Pewer, Uniting Church in Australia)

Hymn: VU 672 – Take time to be holy
Blessing:
What does the Lord require of you

except to do justice,
and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.

Think on these things, and accept the peace of God in your heart.